It seems bizarre but only last night I was thinking of his name. I had cracked a joke about ”Shimon says” as a game. I was ruminating on his Spanish or Portuguese surname.
I awoke this morning to hear that the man had croaked.
He moved to Palestine as a child. He was a legal immigrant. I do not blame him for wanting to found Israel. It was to be a safe haven for those of his faith. Jews had been well integrated in Germany in the late 19th century and there were no discriminatory laws. Within 40 years they were being slain in huge numbers. The argument ran that Hebrews could never feel safe in any other land. A country which fully accepted them might suddenly turn against them. Founding Israel would be good so long as it was done in a manner that was fair to the Palestinians. Maybe that was impossible.
Shimon helped to plan as dastardly attack on British and American forces in Sinai in 1954. In fact this crime did not go ahead.
As foreign minister he lied to the world claiming that Israel would not introduce nuclear weapons to the Middle East. He knew fine well that his country already had done. He was Prime Minister and President during the illegal occupation of Palestine. Many, many Palestinian civilians were killed. He was commander in chief of the armed forces. He did not order civilians to be killed in many cases. It kept happening and he did very little about it. He authorised illegal land grabs. This exacerbated the conflict. He committed many acts of terrible injustice. His political foes were even worse. His Palestinian enemies also committed crimes and sometimes killed Israeli civilians on purpose.
Peres was not the most bellicose of Israeli politicians. He made some efforts to achieve peace. Overall he was a wicked man and the world is better off without him.